21 December 2008 @ 10:41 pm
Doilygate 2008 has ended. Mostly because I ran out of thread, and it's ecru, so I'd never be able to match the dyelot.

Behold, the Wheat and Grape Doily:

gmadoily 012

There were tons and tons of errors in the pattern. I'm glad I ran out of thread, because I was afraid that I'd find another one that I'd have to puzzle out. The biggest error was that the way it told you to start a new round resulted in there being only 8 spaces on the grape vine part, instead of the 9 that should be there. You can't tell unless you go and count them, thank god. I didn't realize it until after I'd gotten to the clusters for the "grapes", which is near where I stopped.

So, I think it looks pretty good! It's probably going to be about 20 inches across once it's blocked and stretched. It's just lightly pinned out there for me to see how it looked. I'm wondering if I can sneak Grandma's doily stretcher away from her without raising suspicion, but I'm guessing I won't be able to. I'll probably end up blocking it on a pizza box, but I'm a little nervous about that, as the pizza box formerly held pizza. Maybe I can infuse the starch with lavender, just to be safe.

It's a great improvement over last year's doily, that's for sure.
13 December 2008 @ 09:52 pm
The State of the Doily )

This doily will not end! It only takes me about five minutes to work from one wheat ear motif to the next, but there are 12 of them, so it takes me at least an hour to do a round. So. Excruciatingly. Slow. I'm on round 19 of 24, so I'm very close to being finished.

It's so big, too. The pattern called for size 30 thread, and I think I grabbed size 20 instead. Meep! Mom and I are trying to figure out what the hell I can block this one, because I think it's going to be close to 20 inches in diameter once it's starched and stretched.

Isn't it pretty, though? I wish I liked decorating with doilies, because I'd make myself one. I'm thinking about adapting the wheat and grape motif for straight crochet to put on a petticoat hem. Because wouldn't that be amazing and lovely and ostentatious?

Also, my order from Elann arrived today. I feel dumb for taking pictures of yarn from freakin' Elann -- it's not like it's super special or droolworthy or anything -- but I'm so excited about my new yarn.

New yarn! )

The pink and the black sport weight is for reknitting those bicolor mitts I made in worsted weight. They are just too chunky for me to be satisfied with. They should be more delicate, and the sports weight should be light enough to do that, without taking forever to knit.

The burgundy is for my Butterfly dress. Oh, yay for laceweight! It's so soft and lovely that I want to cast on for a shawl or something right now. But no. I will wait until I can visit it the library and get the pattern (because buying the book that dress is in would result in me buying more yarn), and then I will make the pretty, pretty dress (once I figure out how to modify it to make it look best on me).
Current Music: The Railway House -- Patrick Wolf
06 December 2008 @ 02:30 am
1) I never actually got to my yarn therapy last night, because I couldn't make up my mind. I have some sportweight yarn in my cart to re-knit those black mitts with the double ruffle at the wrist, but that's a "business purchase". *snort* I've decided that I'd like to knit the Butterfly Dress by Jennie Atkinson*, only not in kid mohair, because mohair makes me want to rip my skin off when I wear it. It's that itchy. So, I'm thinking Peruvian Baby Lace Merino from Elann, because it's merino and baby alpaca and therefore soft. It also won't shed as badly as mohair.

The only issue is that I can't pick a color. I'm leaning toward 1418 Merlot, 1297 Admiral Blue, or 0419 Dark Chocolate. I really like the teal used on the Knitpicks site, but my wardrobe has a serious teal overload right now. Does anyone want to weigh in on this and guide my hand? The only colors I'm really opposed to are the Banana Cream and Cafe Au Lait, because they're really close to the same color as my skin.

2) I started the doily for my grandma's Christmas present tonight. (Yes, I gave her a doily last year, but the woman loves doilies! She used to crochet them, but her eyes aren't good enough anymore to do it.) It's the one at the bottom of this page, the Wheat and Grape Doily.

Here's its current state )

3) Agh! Celt's Vintage Crochet closed! From the Rav thread:

Due to personel problems and my whole site being sold on ebay by a bunch of money grubbers, I have decided to close Celt’s Vintage Crochet. I spent hundreds a year in fees and thousands buying vintage books in an attempt to preserve all the wonderful vintage patterns out there. Too bad some people are more interested in making a buck off someone else’s site then in saving these precious patterns. Thank you to all those who supported me in this are most appreciated. Celty

That's really sad. There were literally hundreds of vintage crochet patterns there, in the public domain, and now they're gone because jerks had to go and sell them and piss her off. Fortunately, the site is still available on Web Archive for a bit, so take a look and download anything you'd like to crochet from there in case it disappears again.

*Didn't I start off looking for DK yarn to knit some fair isle? I seriously love fair isle knitting, but I guess I love lace more? Or maybe I'm feeling really body positive right now and I'm longing for spring. I think that last one's most likely.
**I'm semi-embarrassed to admit I loved it, though I really think that Layla should have ended up with Warren Peace. Really. Vastly more appealing than what's-his-face.
Current Music: Because the Night Belongs to Lovers -- Natalie Merchant
04 July 2008 @ 03:00 pm
Does anyone think this hat is sufficiently 1920s enough to work as a garden hat? Here it is on Ravelry.

It is kind of cloche-like, but it is a modern pattern and it's crocheted. Has anyone run across any crocheted cloches from the 1920s?

I'd probably end up using mercerized cotton for it, since that's easily accessible around here and I like the shine. The Drops Paris that is suggested is cotton and is listed as aran weight on Ravelry, but the hook size is only 3.5 mm/size E, which is a little small for aran. The Garnstudio site says it's worsted, and that sounds better.
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11 December 2007 @ 10:13 pm
No, I didn't throw it out a window. Or decapitate it. (That would be hard, considering doilies don't have heads.) But I did conquer the pattern, but I couldn't say that because it doesn't start with a D.

I said I wasn't going to post pictures until the sun rose, but I couldn't resist. I am too happy that this is done.

Three pictures of a doily so delicate, it can be put on a rack and stretched )

I've followed my mom around since I finished it, asking her if the join is too ugly and if Grandma will like it, and every time she's said no, so I'm guessing my rabid dislike of the join is due to my perfectionism, rather than any true hideousness.

Speaking of my grandma, I was asking her questions about the best way to starch a doily, since she's my go-to source for crochet knowledge, and she got really excited about lending me her doily stretcher. REALLY excited. Like so excited I'm wondering how I'm going to stop her from asking to see my finished doily. I'm thinking about grabbing one from Mom's stash of things that her grandma made, which are stored unstarched. You know, a doily decoy.

I reallyreallyreally hope Grandma likes this, and that it will be enough for a present. I know I've put at least 10 hours of work into this, so it's at least $60 worth of work, but handcrafted gifts are weird that way. I have enough time to make her another one, though, for a set. Hmm.

My grandparents are hard to shop for, too. They have everything they need, they buy everything they want for themselves, and they have tons of stuff. I got them heated foot massagers last year, which the dog is afraid of. (I love her, but she's such a wuss.) As of yet, I have no idea what I'm getting Grandpa.
07 December 2007 @ 10:27 pm
This is a public service announcement about trusting the pattern. Always trust the pattern. Don't try to proactively fix it. You will be wrong, and forced to rip out hundreds of stitches. Really. Trust me on this.

Enter the Delicate Doily, a.k.a. my grandma's Christmas present.

3 pictures, much woe )

Putting off ripping out the doily, I picked up my sister's stole. Within three stitches, I discovered that some plies in the strand of yarn had broken, so I had to tink back to the beginning of the row, cut the yarn, rejoin it, and re-do work I had already done. Lame.

I was knitting along happily following the rejoining of yarn, reading my knitting instead of the chart, when I discovered that I had messed up in a serioius way on one repeat in the middle of the piece. Unfortunately, the mistake had been made eight rows/1064 stitches ago, but the pattern for that section was such that reading my knitting didn't let me notice the mistake, because I was either purling across a row or yo k2tog within a border of knit stitches.

I'm tempted just to drop the stitches on the repeat, and knit that section back up correctly, but I don't know. There's room for a lot more catastrophes with that approach, even though it would be less work if it succeeded. The reason I'm thinking about doing that is that the pattern repeat is 63 rows long, and I'm halfway through a repeat. My last lifeline was at the beginning of the repeat, so I'm not keen in ripping back that far.

Man, I just cannot win at lace lately. I'm dropping stitches, breaking yarn, and just generally making mistakes that I normally don't. These are not difficult patterns! I am capable of doing this without doing this!
Current Music: River Waltz -- Cowboy Junkies